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Historic North

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,615

Explore the historical sites of Ethiopia on this journey through the country’s north. Passing from Addis Ababa to Axum and Gondar, you’ll see towering obelisks, visit iconic rock-hewn churches and medieval castles, and learn about the long and storied history of this ancient land.


This 8-day Ethiopia vacation takes you through the country’s historic north, travelling from the capital, Addis Ababa, to Lalibela, Axum, Gondar, and the Simien Mountains.

Your Ethiopia tour begins in Addis Ababa, the nation's capital and the diplomatic centre of Africa. Addis Ababa can simultaneously overwhelm and enchant visitors on Ethiopia tours. It's the fourth largest city on the continent, meaning it's bustling and chockfull of traffic and unspectacular architecture. But it's also exotic with an ancient atmosphere that can beguile you when you visit spots like Merkato, which is one of the largest open-air markets in all of Africa. A city tour will introduce you to the city's history and culture. You'll climb Mt. Entoto, the highest peak in an already-high city, where Emperor Menelik II lived when he founded the city in the 19th century. At Menelik's compound on Mt. Entoto, you'll see the Entoto Mariam Church as well as Menelik's Palace. You'll then head into town to the Shero Meda Market to shop for traditional Ethiopian crafts and clothing and visit both the Ethnographic Museum and National Museum to learn about the region's history and culture and see the bones of Lucy, one of the world's oldest archaeological remains of a human ancestor.

From Addis Ababa, continue your Ethiopia vacation by heading to Lalibela, one of the world's great centres of ancient Christianity and the spiritual heart of Ethiopia. Lalibela is famous for the rock-hewn churches spread across the landscape. You'll spend your time visiting two clusters of these famous churches to see Bet Medhane Alem, which resembles an ancient Greek Temple, and Get Giyorgis, which is the most elegant church in the region and only accessible through a tunnel in an isolated part of the village.

Continue along to Axum, once the capital of the Axumite Kingdom that controlled vast regions of land stretched between the Persian and Eastern Roman Empires. Axum is also known for its mythical connections to Christianity and Judaism, as it has been claimed to be the home of the biblical Queen of Sheba, resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, and burial site of one of the Three Wise Men. While you won’t be seeing the Ark of the Covenant during your visit to Axum, you will explore its cultural significance as you visit ruins of ancient monuments of the kingdom, including obelisks, royal tombs, and St. Mary of Zion Church, which was rebuilt in the 17th century but has roots going back millennia.

Continue to explore Ethiopia’s historic past by heading to Gondar, once the imperial city of Fasilidas where Ethiopian kings reigned between the 17th and 19th centuries. The city is dotted with castles and royal ruins dating back to the 17th century. Aside from the castle ruins, you’ll visit Fasilidas Pool, where masses of pilgrims are rebaptized during yearly Epiphany celebrations, and Debre Birhan Trinity Church, which is renowned for its astonishing murals.

Your final two stops on Ethiopia tours are the breathtaking reaches of Simien Mountain National Park and Bahir Dar, often referred to as the Ethiopian Riviera. Start in Simien Mountain National Park, one of the most beautiful mountain ranges on the continent. Over two days in the mountains, you’ll head on game drives throughout the park and search for some of its fascinating wild inhabitants, including Gelada Baboons and Lion Monkeys. Pass along to Bahir Dar, a bustling town sitting alongside famous Lake Tana. Bahir Dar offers the chance to relax by picturesque waters, but it’s equally famous for its proximity to some Ethiopian icons. First, see Blue Nile Falls, which stretch 100m wide and tower 45m tall. Afterwards, you’ll visit a local market to peruse hand-woven capes and scarves before visiting an imperial palace and heading onto the islands of Lake Tana to visit two famous island monasteries, Ura Kdana Mihret and Azua Mariam. Close out your time in Ethiopia with a cruise along the Nile River to see hippos before returning to Addis Ababa for your flight home.


 

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Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,615

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrival at Addis Ababa

Up on arrival meet with Goway Travel's local representative and get transferred to Sapphire Hotel.

Addis Ababa (New Flower), and Ethiopia's capital city! The city lies in the central highlands at a Welcome to Addis Ababa "New Flower", Ethiopia's capital city which is located at 2,700m above sea level. It is a pleasant city with wide avenues, interesting museums and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa, "Merkato". It was founded by Emperor Menelik II in 1887, who selected the site because its location within the Entoto hills has long been the center of Shoan politics.
It is Africa's diplomatic capital with headquarters for the Organization of African Union and the United Nation Economic Commissions for Africa. The capital is rich in impressive statues and monuments of different architecture, several of which are just in the middle of the turnarounds.
After taking a rest start explore Addis Ababa, drive to Entoto Hills - best introduction place to Addis Ababa. Mt. Entoto is the highest peak in Addis Ababa reaching 3,200 meters above sea level, giving the opportunity to catch stunning views over the city and the surrounding area from the summit. It is the first settlement in Addis Ababa where Emperor Menelik II resided and built his palace in 1887. It is a historical place which offers a unique glimpse into the history of Ethiopia's distinct culture. The compound at the peak hosts the Entoto Mariam church, an Ethiopian artefact museum as well as Menelik II palace.
In addition to its historical significance as one drive up the hill there is an appreciable drop in temperature and the air is filled with the scent of the Eucalyptus trees which line the road.
On the way up the roadside stalls offers fresh Ethiopian coffee. Also, if you have an interest in Ethiopian traditional clothes, with time availability possible to stop by at Shero Meda Market. There is a wide variety of beautiful fabrics, shawls, scarves, dresses, tops and jewellery with lots of choice and really good for gift ideas.
After lunch visit the Ethnographic and National museum. The Ethnographic Museum, with its two main sections covering local crafts and on regions and people, is an ideal place to start learning about Ethiopia's rich ethnic diversity. The museum has an impressive array of religious crosses, triptychs and murals, as well as Haile Selassie's bedroom and bathroom.
National Museum, which ranks among the most important museums in sub- Sahara Africa. It is famous guest Lucy, One could find exhibits ranging from the 3.5 million-year-old bones of Lucy.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Sapphire Addis Hotel

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  • starstarstarstarstar

    Sapphire Addis Hotel



    Sapphire Addis Hotel is a 5 star Hotel that has entered the fast developing hotel market of Addis Ababa. Located in the city's central zone, one kilometre away from Bole International Airport, 3 minutes drive adjacent to the renowned Bole Medanailam Church. The Hotel is ...

    Sapphire Addis Hotel is a 5 star Hotel that has entered the fast developing hotel market of Addis Ababa. Located in the city's central zone, one kilometre away from Bole International Airport, 3 minutes drive adjacent to the renowned Bole Medanailam Church. The Hotel is settled on 1300 sq. m of land, located on Namibia Avenue. Sapphire Addis Hotel offers Luxurious Restaurant, Bar and Lounge, Spa and Fitness Centre, Conference halls and ATM service. The Hotel boasts its grandeur and elegance at the same time.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Business Centre
    • Conference Hall
    • Copying and Printing
    • Fitness Studio
    • Jacuzzi
    • Massages
    • Parking
    • Restaurant
    • Sauna
    • Steam Room
    • WiFi

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Day 2

Fly to Bahir Dar

After early breakfast you'll transfer to the airport for your flight to Bahir Dar, where you'll meet with Goway Travel's local representative and get transferred to Avanti Blue Nile Hotel. Bahir Dar means "by the side of the sea" in the Amharic language.
After taking a rest, you'll drive to the Blue Nile Falls - known locally as Tissiat - which means "The Smoking Water." The Falls are 328 feet wide and the water plunges some 150 feet, giving rise to picturesque stream clouds and rainbows.
After lunch you'll embark by boat to Lake Tana to visit two of the renowned Island Monasteries of the Lake, namely: Ura Kidane Mihret and Azua Mariam. Both have wonderful wall paintings which depict scenes from the Old and the New Testaments of the Holy Bible.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Avanti Blue Nile Hotel

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  • starstarstarstar

    Avanti Blue Nile Hotel



    Constellation Hotels and Resorts proudly presents its first Avanti in Eastern Africa. Avanti Blue Nile Hotel is conveniently located 8 km from the Bahir Dar Airport. Bahir Dar is one of the leading tourist destinations in Ethiopia, with a variety of attractions such as the ...

    Constellation Hotels and Resorts proudly presents its first Avanti in Eastern Africa. Avanti Blue Nile Hotel is conveniently located 8 km from the Bahir Dar Airport. Bahir Dar is one of the leading tourist destinations in Ethiopia, with a variety of attractions such as the third largest lake in Africa Lake Tana and the Blue Nile River. The city is known for its wide avenues lined with palm trees and an array of colourful flowers.

    Blue Nile Resort Hotel is conveniently located 8KM from Bahir Dar Airport. The Hotel has a total of 135 rooms, all with modern amenities, more specifically, the hotel has 100 Classic rooms, 16 Superior rooms, 14 Duplex rooms, and five Junior Suites. All rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi access, Air-conditioning unit, bathroom, mini bar, safe box, desk and 32' flat screen television with 25 paid and free to air channels. The comfort of our modern rooms will more than satisfy you with refreshing views of Lake Tana.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Spa

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Day 3

Bahir Dar- Simien Mountain NP

Today you'll drive to Simien Mountains National Park which will take approximately 5 hours. Upon arrival check in to Simien Lodge.
The Simien Mountains are an area of highlands in the northern part of Ethiopia consisting of some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. It was added to the World Heritage Site list in 1978. With a total area of 190km/sq., the Simien Mountains boast 57 tree species, a wealth of herbaceous plants, 22 large and 13 small mammals and about 180 recorded bird species. Of these, the Walia ibex, Ethiopian wolf, Menelik's Bushbuck and the Gelada baboon are endemic.
After lunch you'll drive to Sankaber. Here you can observe the beautiful landscape and animals like the Gelada Baboon (or the 'bleeding-heart' Baboon) and the lion monkey.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Simien Lodge

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Day 4

Simien Mountain National Patel

In the morning you'll drive to Gondar, which is 135km distant and will take around 2hrs. On arrival, you'll check in to Mayeleko Lodge before embarking on your exploration of Gondar, the imperial city of Fasilides. The city was the first capital of the Ethiopian empire, which began in 1632, with the reign of Fasilides; and the kings of Ethiopia based their power there for over two centuries.
In Gondar, there are a dozen castles built by various emperors over the course of 236 years. Many picturesque ruins lie in the royal enclosure, like fairy-tale castles dating back to the 17th century. The castles reflect the glory of Gondarine kings and are characterized by their distinctive architectural style. The other place of interest is the Fasilides pool, in which pilgrims still take a plunge during the Timket (Epiphany) celebrations.
You'll then proceed to Debre Birhan Trinity Church, rewarding for its magnificent murals adorning the roof and the walls.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Goha Hotel

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  • Goha Hotel



    Goha Hotel stands on a hill with an enchanting view of the city. Equipped with the most up-to-date facilities and elegantly furnished rooms, the hotel offers a luxurious retreat for its visitors. You can enjoy a breathtaking view of the panorama stretching away towards the ...

    Goha Hotel stands on a hill with an enchanting view of the city. Equipped with the most up-to-date facilities and elegantly furnished rooms, the hotel offers a luxurious retreat for its visitors. You can enjoy a breathtaking view of the panorama stretching away towards the distant Lake Tana. All the rooms are elegantly designed and furnished with comfort in mind.

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Day 5

Fly to Axum

After breakfast you'll transfer to the airport for your flight to Axum. Upon arrival you'll meet our representative and be taken to Sabean Hotel, where you can refresh before starting to explore Axum.
Axum is renowned for its cathedral of St. Mary Zion, where legend has it, the original Ark of Covenant is housed. There are several standing monolithic stelae which are made of single pieces of granite, on which three have identical decoration. The site of the Queen of Sheba's Palace contains the remains of what was once a massive palace with finely mortared stonewalls, deep foundations and its own impressive drainage system. It is believed to be the oldest building in Axum.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Sabean Hotel

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  • starstarstar

    Sabean Hotel



    Sabean International Hotel is a modern and centrally located hotel in Axum. All the rooms have satellite televisions and wireless internet access. The suites are larger and have a balcony and work desk. The hotel's restaurant serves Ethiopian and International cuisine.

    Sabean International Hotel is a modern and centrally located hotel in Axum. All the rooms have satellite televisions and wireless internet access. The suites are larger and have a balcony and work desk. The hotel's restaurant serves Ethiopian and International cuisine.

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Day 6

Fly to Lalibela

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lalibela where you'll meet with our representative on arrival, and get transferred to Mountain View Hotel.
Lalibela is rightly acknowledged as being one of the Wonders of the World. At the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries King Lalibella of the Zaghwe dynasty built a series of rock hewn churches in this spot, calling it New Jerusalem. Crafted from the rock in which they stand, these towering edifices seems to be superhuman creation in scale, workman ship and concept. 11 churches in the town are named after the King.
After checking in to your hotel, you'll begin your tour of the first group of six churches in town. This group of churches lie in rock cradles, one behind the other: Bet Golgotha, Bet Mikael, Bet Mariam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel and Bet Medhane Alem.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Mountain View Hotel

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  • starstarstar

    Mountain View Hotel



    Mountain View Hotel Lalibela was founded at an altitude of 2680 metres at the edge of the Lasta Lalibela mountain chains. Its panoramic mountain view is a source of admiration to nature. It is one of the best views to experience the lovely sunset. The ...

    Mountain View Hotel Lalibela was founded at an altitude of 2680 metres at the edge of the Lasta Lalibela mountain chains. Its panoramic mountain view is a source of admiration to nature. It is one of the best views to experience the lovely sunset.
    The architecture of the hotel is a piece of art and comparable to the rock-hewn churches. The town centre and Church of Saint George are within a 20 minute walk from the Mountain View Hotel.

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Day 7

Lalibela

In the morning you'll visit the second group of the rock churches. The south-east cluster of churches is more irregular in design than the north-western cluster. Several of the individual churches in this cluster are thought to have been secular in origin, and some predate the reign of King Lalibela by five centuries. The churches in the south-east cluster include Bet Gebriel-Rafael, Bet Abba Libanos, Bet Lehem, Bet Emanuel, and Bet Mercurios. According to legend, Bet Abba Libanos was built overnight by Lalibela's wife, Meskel Kebre, who was assisted by a group of angels.

Finally you'll visit Bet Giyorgis, possibly the most elegant and majestic of all the Lalibela churches, which lies somewhat isolated in the southwest part of the village on a sloping rock terrace. It can only be reached through a tunnel.

After lunch, you'll visit the monastery of Nakuto Laab, located six kilometers outside Lalibela and accessible by car. It is a simple, yet fascinating example of Lalibela's eastern group of rock hewn churches.

In the late afternoon, you'll visit the open market of Lalibela, after which you will experience Ethiopian hospitality, at a traditional coffee ceremony.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Fly to Addis/Departure

Today after breakfast, you'll transfer to the airport for your flight to Addis Ababa. You'll have day use room at Sapphire Hotel. Your last night in Ethiopia will be a memorable farewell dinner at one of Addis Ababa's wonderful cultural or international restaurants.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation

Sapphire Addis Hotel

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstarstar

    Sapphire Addis Hotel



    Sapphire Addis Hotel is a 5 star Hotel that has entered the fast developing hotel market of Addis Ababa. Located in the city's central zone, one kilometre away from Bole International Airport, 3 minutes drive adjacent to the renowned Bole Medanailam Church. The Hotel is ...

    Sapphire Addis Hotel is a 5 star Hotel that has entered the fast developing hotel market of Addis Ababa. Located in the city's central zone, one kilometre away from Bole International Airport, 3 minutes drive adjacent to the renowned Bole Medanailam Church. The Hotel is settled on 1300 sq. m of land, located on Namibia Avenue. Sapphire Addis Hotel offers Luxurious Restaurant, Bar and Lounge, Spa and Fitness Centre, Conference halls and ATM service. The Hotel boasts its grandeur and elegance at the same time.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Business Centre
    • Conference Hall
    • Copying and Printing
    • Fitness Studio
    • Jacuzzi
    • Massages
    • Parking
    • Restaurant
    • Sauna
    • Steam Room
    • WiFi

    More Details

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Accommodation
  • Meals and Flights as indicated
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicle
  • English-speaking guides for Sightseeing
  • Entrance Fees

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire. 

TB KIBRANTADD0319SG: HN 1
12 Nov 2019
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